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Nestle KitKat Sakura Matcha

Japan is always at the top of my list for coun­tries to vis­it des­pite hav­ing vis­ited numer­ous times. Within Japan, though, cherry blos­som view­ing sea­son or hanami tops my list of new things to do. We’ve always vis­ited dur­ing autumn leaf view­ing sea­son or mom­ijgari, which we enjoy immensely, and hanami could only be as enchant­ing. Hanami is ser­i­ous busi­ness in Japan with the weath­er bur­eau announ­cing the blos­som fore­cast each year.

Cherry leaves and blos­soms are edible and both are used as ingredi­ents in Japan after being pickled in salted water. The leaves are used for sak­ur­amo­chi, while the blos­soms are used to cre­ate a bever­age with hot water (sak­ur­ayu) or in tra­di­tion­al con­fec­tion­ary (wagashi) and sweet red bean buns (anpan). Ahead of hanami sea­son, com­pan­ies also release sak­ura products, includ­ing alco­hol, soft drinks, ice cream, potato chips and of course, chocol­ate. And here we have Nestle KitKat Sakura Matcha.

The KitKat con­sists of a cherry blos­som cream sand­wiched between fra­grant wafers and covered in white chocol­ate fla­voured with green tea from Uji in Kyoto.

The min­i­bar smells much like matcha KitKat with no hint of sak­ura. On tast­ing, the matcha fla­voured white chocol­ate melts to reveal a fra­grant green tea fla­vour with a bal­anced sweet­ness and bit­ter­ness in the head, before pleas­antly mel­low notes of sak­ura blos­soms emerge in the body. The flor­al notes retain their char­ac­ter­ist­ic saline and sour fla­vour but their strength is well-restrained and enjoy­able com­pared to their pro­nounced fla­vour in sak­ur­ayu. The com­bined sak­ura and matcha fla­vours in the fin­ish leave a savoury sweet after­taste that sug­gests a sak­ura fla­voured umami-rich gyok­uro.

Sakura Matcha is a long-stand­ing fla­vour with Nestle Japan reg­u­larly updat­ing its pack­aging. Here’s the box from 2011 con­tain­ing 2 full-size, rather than mini-size, bars.

These boxes of Nestle KitKat Sakura Matcha con­tained 3 mini bars (top) and 2 full-size bars (bot­tom). They were pro­duced in Japan and pur­chased in Osaka, Japan in 2011 and 2015.